The PS Brothers

The PS Brothers

5.0 2
by Maribeth Boelts
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Russell and Shawn call themselves the PS Brothers: P is for poop, S is for scoop, and Brothers is because they’re best friends. Scooping poop is the fastest way to earn money to buy a puppy. These two are crazy about dogs. And they’re sure that once their puppy grows into a tough dog, no one will ever pick on them for

See more details below

Overview

Russell and Shawn call themselves the PS Brothers: P is for poop, S is for scoop, and Brothers is because they’re best friends. Scooping poop is the fastest way to earn money to buy a puppy. These two are crazy about dogs. And they’re sure that once their puppy grows into a tough dog, no one will ever pick on them for being weak or poor again. Unfortunately, getting a puppy is not that easy. Russell and Shawn don’t count on uncovering a dog-fighting ring—and that can bust apart a dream faster than a dog can sniff out a bone.

But doing the right thing might still get them what they want—and maybe even more.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Heartwarming yet full of gritty issues." —Kirkus Reviews

"Part of the appeal of this book is its edginess. Shawn’s and Russell’s hardscrabble existences and their heartfelt yearning for a dog to defend them are compelling."—School Library Journal

"A lighthearted portrait of a strong friendship and a plucky kid who doesn't let tough circumstances get him down." —Booklist

"The book's accessibility and high-interest subject make it a natural for reluctant readers, and readers in general will appreciate Russell's moral dilemma and sigh in relief at the happy puppy-acquiring ending."—The Bulletin

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Russell and Shawn are not really brothers, but they feel like they could be—after all each counts on the other to provide companionship they do not find in their own families—with Shawn the youngest of a large, disconnected family and motherless Russell in the care of an uncle while his father serves a prison term. The two boys both are desperate for a dog, more specifically a "mean one"—not mean to them but to those who bully them and make fun of their families. To raise the money they come up with a plan for a "pooper-scooper" business (hence the P.S. in their corporate title). What they do not count on is uncovering a dog-fighting ring. Telling the story from the perspective of tough-talking but vulnerable Shawn is an effective way to keep the serious issues of abandonment and poverty the boys face from overwhelming the resourcefulness and resilience they show. The story resolves with the boys getting what they wanted, but without pretending that all the challenges in their lives will disappear. It is just that we know these two have the inner resources to continue to handle what comes along. The strong characterization of the two boys and the vivid language make this a good read, accessible to struggling readers in middle school. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Russell's life has been difficult ever since his mother died in a car accident and his father was arrested for theft. He's been living with his Uncle Cory, who allows him to stay by himself in an old pop-up camper in the backyard. Russell and his friend Shawn, who comes from a family of six boys and has to share a bedroom with four of them, wear old clothes that are often patched together with tape. Both boys are targets of teasing. When not in school, they spend their time at the library reading about dogs and dream about owning a tough one to defend them from bullies. When attempting to purchase one with money earned as the Pooper Scooper Brothers, the sixth graders encounter animal abuse and illegal dogfighting. Part of the appeal of this book is its edginess. Shawn's and Russell's hardscrabble existences and their heartfelt yearning for a dog to defend them are compelling. Though the story wraps up too neatly and some of the lessons learned seem forced, the characters are well developed and kids will enjoy the friendship between Russell and Shawn. The subject matter and simple, yet interesting, story line make this a good choice for reluctant readers.—Tina Martin, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Russell and best friend Shawn do everything together and share a dream of having a dog of their very own. Their perfect dog would be big and aggressive and inspire fear in the many bullies that plague the twosome at school. When the boys spot a sign advertising Rottweiler puppies for sale, they hatch a plan to earn $200 for one, and the PS (Pooper Scooper) Brothers business is launched. All seems to be going well until Russell stumbles upon evidence that the puppies' owner is engaged in illegal dog fighting. If Russell blows the whistle, he may lose the puppy and disappoint his buddy, but if he does not follow his conscience then more dogs will suffer. Boelts has her story elements all right: worn urban setting, quick comic dialogue, well-developed characters and a good dose of suspense. Especially affecting is the growing relationship between Russell and the uncle who took him in when his dad went to jail. Heartwarming yet full of gritty issues, this is a successful story for middle-grade readers who also like the works of Barbara O'Connor and Frances O'Roark Dowell. (Fiction. 9-12)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547505428
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/04/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
347,546
Lexile:
810L (what's this?)
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Heartwarming yet full of gritty issues." —Kirkus Reviews

"Part of the appeal of this book is its edginess. Shawn’s and Russell’s hardscrabble existences and their heartfelt yearning for a dog to defend them are compelling."—School Library Journal

"A lighthearted portrait of a strong friendship and a plucky kid who doesn't let tough circumstances get him down." —Booklist

"The book's accessibility and high-interest subject make it a natural for reluctant readers, and readers in general will appreciate Russell's moral dilemma and sigh in relief at the happy puppy-acquiring ending."—The Bulletin

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >